Anyone go from a Big 650 dualsport to a 250 and regret it?

Discussion in 'Thumpers' started by ntm1973, Jun 15, 2012.

  1. Harsh

    Harsh Been here awhile

    Feb 27, 2007
    South Riding, VA
    I own a 2010 KLX250. There are highways near me where speed limit is 70. I'll hop on and off but there is no way I'm cruising for hours at 70 with traffic - my 250 doesn't have the power to play (uphill against the wind I'm not hitting 70. Stock seat got uncomfortable quickly for me about 100 miles. But aftermarket Sargent seat (4 inches wider) equals all day comfort. I also put on a Cycle Rack - you could carry a person on that rack.
  2. GotMojo?

    GotMojo? Long timer

    Oct 22, 2004
    I went from a KLR650 to a WR250X... absolutely no regrets.
  3. doogiepooch

    doogiepooch Been here awhile

    Jul 27, 2010
    Canton, NC
    My personal opinoin is this is the only way to downsize and still be happy. I haven't riden a KLK, I really like them but interstate capability is a must for me. I know any bike 250 or larger is interstate "capable" but its a tiring battle cruising at the upper limits of a bike for hours on end. I had an XT 350 before I got my KLR and that's the actual reason I decided to go to a 650 was to be able to cruise more comfortably on the interstate. It's do-able on a smaller bike but stopped being fun after a couple hours. I wouldn't worry about working on it yourself, the FI will take care of itself and you can still do everything else. WR250 is the only JAP bike out there right now that will run interstate required speeds and do it fairly well.
  4. kentnothstine

    kentnothstine Been here awhile

    Feb 5, 2010
    Traverse City, MI, USA
    I have a '03 KLX400SR (DRZ400S in a green uniform) and an '08 XT250 (girlfriend rides it). The XT keeps up with the KLX. with her riding. Me as a 6'6" 250 lb'er would not choose a 250, I have ridden a KLX250s and my XT250. They just cant run higher speeds with comfort for me. But, I guess the KLX400 wont run the higher speeds well either lol, just needs one more gear...

    "08 XT250

    • Air cooled
    • Low seat height
    • Wider more comfortable seat
    • Small aftermarket
    • More road then off, less suspension
    • Carbureted
    • 5 Speed
    KLX400 (green DRZ400)

    • Tall
    • Good suspension
    • Plenty of power
    • Needs another gear
    • Hard seat
    • Carburetor
    • Liquid cooled
    • 5 Speed

    • Don't know much about it
    • Nice wide gear ratio
    • 5 Speed (?)
    • Liquid cooled
    • Fuel Injected

    • Fairly tall
    • Good suspension
    • Seat height medium to tall
    • Seat hard
    • 6 Speed (I think don't remember)
    • Liquid cooled
    • Carb
    I am sure I forgot something or was wrong about something, and I will be told :lol3. Those are the differences I have noticed. Ride quality on and off road depends on tires. YMMV as I am large.

  5. NJ-Brett

    NJ-Brett Brett

    Sep 8, 2010
    Southern New Jersey
    I find a smaller under powered lighter bike to be a lot more fun to ride then a big heavy bike with more power, street or dirt.
    The wr250 seems to be the way to go, and it does have a 6 speed trans.
    The klx with the big bore kit also seems great, and its cheaper.
    The suspension might not be as good as the wr250, people really seem to love those bikes and they seem to go everywhere.

    The dr650 is lighter then a klr, 40 pounds I think, but its still enough weight to bust you up good in a fall.
    I can not imagine trying to have fun in the dirt on a klr...
  6. dsdude

    dsdude Adventurer

    Jun 19, 2010
    Thunder Bay
    I owned a klx (2006) for 3 seasons and liked it. Put about 7000 km on it. you need to do the usual mods like larger snorkle and jetting and maybe exhaust to get it usable (then stock gearing is perfect). in december a picked up a drz... i feel this is a better bike all around... slightly heavier but i dont feel it at all. I would check out lowering links to suit your needs. I like to ride single track, quad trails , power lines and back roads along with some commuting. Lots of after market support and like the klr has been unchanged for years.
  7. jasonmt

    jasonmt Been here awhile

    Sep 20, 2011
    Alberta, Canada
    I would consider going from a KLR 650 to a WR250 as an upgrade in all departments for the kind of riding I do.
  8. TNC

    TNC Candyass Camper

    Mar 22, 2007
    The KLX and WRR have almost identical suspensions. They both can use some work for some level of perfection. I have an '06 KLX, but I wouldn't be leary at all of a WRR. The FI doesn't scare me, but neither do I mind the carb on mine. These two bikes are really the only true DS 250's IMO at the moment. The new Honda 250 may turn out to be decent but the shorter travel and weight are still concerns for me.
  9. Davidc83

    Davidc83 Been here awhile

    Oct 16, 2009
    Southern Indiana
    The KLX 250's do have a 6 speed tranny; my 09 klx has a 6 speed tranny. The seat is a killer; a 2x4 piece of lumber is softer. I can ride my BMW G650gs 800 miles in one day and my butt feels better than riding my klx 250 50 miles. However, I did upgrade my bmw to a corbin seat and I will upgrade the klx to a corbin sometime in the future. I have got my klx250 up to 78mph (I am 5'10" and weight 190 lbs) on flat, straight highways, though that was maxed out. I have ridden it 50 miles on the interstate, 4 lane highways at 70-75 mph with no problems, but its sweet spot is between 60-65 mph on the highways. I dont ride single track, so I cant comment on that, but on sand roads (I keep it in storage in Florida) or sand driveways, it tears it up-better than my bmw gs.
  10. ADVJake

    ADVJake ***** dweller

    Aug 16, 2004
    Sydney, Australia
    I had a WR250R. didn't own it longer than a few months. Just not enough power for me to have fun in the bush. I love my torquey big bores and powersliding the back out at speed, the 250 wouldn't let me do that
  11. kubiak

    kubiak Long timer

    Nov 25, 2007
    madera california
    i went from a xr650l to a 1150gs then back to a f650gs and love the gs. the 1150 had a lot of power but was too big and heavy.
  12. ntm1973

    ntm1973 Been here awhile

    Mar 7, 2012
    What 250 are you talking about? Are there any 250's that have decent torque for hill climbing that can still run on the highway?

    It's funny because as bad as the KLR650 is at a lot of stuff, it's hard to give up it's mediocrity at everything. Sometimes when you clean a steep hill or a technical section on the klr, you look back and think "I can't believe I just made it through that" Hopefully that feeling of accomplishment/relief still exist with a smaller bike :D
  13. mookybird

    mookybird Gramps

    Nov 4, 2011
    Olympic Peninsula, Washington State
    I wanted to see how a smaller bike would go and didn't really want to spend a lot of money in the process, I found a clean low time xr400 and got it plated for under 2K.

    I hadn't kicked a bike for several years and was way more concerned than necessary, it is an easy starter and if I do my part it idles away after one kick, hot or cold.

    The countershaft sprocket changes very quickly and I run the road gears and switch out when I get to the woods. It will cruise faster than I enjoy riding an unfaired dirtbike and has plenty of go for passing into the 70's

    Just a thought for those following this thread and being aircooled with minimal electrics there isn't much to go wrong if you buy a well maintained one. And as to the torque / hillclimbing aspect, if it's geared to top out around fifty in fifth it will be a tractor in the first three.
  14. Unstable Rider

    Unstable Rider Moto Fotografist

    Jul 23, 2010
    It's funny because as bad as the KLR650 is at a lot of stuff,
    it's hard to give up it's mediocrity at everything (quote from NTM1973, shown above).

    I really like that synopsis or statement.
    It's a great statement. Kawasaki, if they cared, could use it to sell yet more KLR's.

    Here's my own blurt:

    The KLR 650 is the Swiss Army adjustable metric crescent wrench of two-wheeled farm machinery. While potentially ill suited to "many things", it's donkey stupid enough to be willing to TRYING ANYTHING.
  15. MookieBlaylock

    MookieBlaylock Long timer

    Feb 29, 2004
    i have a te 250 and it is briiliant at everything singletrack except the climbs and rock gardens. Since it has low power it uses a 120 section rear tire so it has that much less grip , and if you can imagine 7000 rpms over rocks you get the idea
  16. MC_Collector

    MC_Collector Riding Again!

    Jan 15, 2008
    Longshot, Mississippi
    My wife and I have a stable ranging from a 1972 Honda Trail 90 to a 2005 Gold Wing 1800. We have two Yamaha XT225's, a nearly perfectly preserved and running 1977 Yamaha DT250 2 stroke and a 2008 KLR 650.

    Unless I'm going on a long road trip the XT225 is usually what I choose. A seat concepts seat kit, a rack with the JC Whitney case and the Slipstreamer Spitfire windshield really help convenience and comfort a lot. I've taken many 200+ mile day rides and it is a blast to me. Light equals easily controllable in the dirt. The DT250 is about the same, but only gets ~40 mpg at best which limits the range a lot. Most roads around here are rural so the low top end is really not an issue.
  17. redbastard

    redbastard Long timer

    Apr 23, 2008
    Rat City
    A purpose built bike like a KTM XC200 would be much lighter and more powerfull than any 250 dual sport. YOu just can't beat having the right tool for the right job. I have a Yamaha WR250F with a plate on it. It's great up to 45mph, but it''s a dirt bike and high on maintenance. I made the move last year from a ktm 950 to a 650 enduro bike, and jumping logs is out on the 650 as is trying to keep up to the 250s in the woods, but for a do everything bike it works well.
    If you can swing getting a cheap dirt bike and keeping your KLR I think you wont regret it.
  18. el tortuga

    el tortuga Been here awhile

    Jul 30, 2005
    at a desk

    Sometimes I've played around with some attempts at climbing tall dunes on my WR250R and have failed and a KLR has managed (barely and with a lot of work) to clear it. But, is that important for the OP?

    In real world riding my WR has done everything I would try on my KLR except sustained 80 mph riding and 2 up. And when the trails get really bad, the WR whips the KLR's ass. Of course this statement means me as the pilot. :lol3
    I ridden with high-skilled guys that have KLR's and they can go everywhere I do so the rider plays an important role in this, no doubt. But at the end of the day I'm still pretty fresh and they're beat. The other thing is, their KLR's are stripped down for off-road riding and get used pretty rough. Most people don't want their KLR's looking like this.:rofl

    The other thing thing I liked about the WR was I actually enjoy it more on the highway than the KLR. A passing semi was always a puckering moment but the WR just floats around.
  19. Baggersteve

    Baggersteve Adventurer

    Feb 26, 2012
    Twin Cities, Mn
    I'm kind of in the same boat. I have a BMW Dakar that is a little heavier than I'd like. I carry mine on my semi and use it for transportation when I'm sitting around somewhere.
    Thought of going to a BMW x-bike, be about 75 pounds lighter. But the thought of a lightweight 250 appeals to me also. It would make it easier to load & unload also. But I'm about 200 lbs, & wonder if the smaller bike would be under powered.

    Is the KLX the same, or pretty much the same, as a Super Sherpa?
    I really don't want a really tall bike either. I'm puttering around town and banging a few trails, so an mx suspension is kind of a waste.
  20. TNC

    TNC Candyass Camper

    Mar 22, 2007
    I wouldn't really classify the KLX and KLR-SS in the same category. The KLX will be more dirt worthy and the KLR more pavement worthy. For a bike having at least 10" of travel, the KLX has a low seat long as you get an '09 or later. The KLR is more old school in its suspension department. The KLX has way more potential with a bigger bore kit and suspension mods. Modding a KLR doesn't give as great a return. When you mod the engine and suspension on a KLX or WRR, you get a bike that's much more like a real dirt bike...just on the slightly heavier side. My '06 KLX250S with a 300 jug and Race Tech revalving reminds me a bit of the 4 off road only XR250R's I had over the years. And that's actually a compliment. The upside is that the KLX is watercooled and electric start with much better performance on the pavement.

    If you're just looking for a bike to act as some transportation on your truck route, the KLR-SS would do fine. The KLX will always provide more potential depending on how much of an explorer you are in some of the areas on your route.